Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos

"Gran Elias Mora is my personal wine. It comes from a single plot that the retired people from the village showed me in 2000. We bottle Gran Elias Mora only the best vintages and after my selection of the best barrels." —
Victoria Benavides, winemaker
Toro D.O.
100% Tinta de Toro, from the single, 80-year-old Senda del Lobo "Wolf's Path" vineyard
750 meters / clay over limestone with sand and large stones on the surface
Farming Methods
Practicing Organic
Hand harvested, by an estate employed team of pickers at the end of September with very low yields of 15hl/ha
Whole berries undergo a 3 day cold soak, 12 fermentation with skins. This wine is only produced in exceptional vintages.
Aged for 17 months in French oak barrels, 100% new, this is a selection of the most concentrated and balanced lots
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos 2012
95 (WE) 95 (WRO) 93 (VM) 92 (W&S) 92 (I-WR) 91 (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine Enthusiast Tightly wound, layered, moderately tannic and oozing excellence, this is a fantastic high-end Toro from the superb 2012 vintage. The minerally, toasty aroma of blackberry is stylish and shows a balsamic note. Flavors of licorice, sweet balsamic vinegar, chocolate and toasty blackberry continue on a long, deep, complex finish. Drink this ace-level red from 2017–2028.
Editor's Choice; April 2016
95 Wine Review Online This is an astonishing wine, but not for the faint of heart. It is hugely impressive, with “huge” being the most important element in that clause. Still nearly black in color and opaque in pigmentation at 6 years of age, it is phenomenally rich and concentrated. Aromas of baking spices and subtle woodsmoke are quite appealing, but then the sheer intensity and power of the wine just kick down the door and the wild ride begins. Those who think Tempranillo (or Tinta de Toro, as it is called in this region) just makes light- or medium-bodied wines will be set straight permanently by this bottling, which as actually “thick” in texture, as in milkshake thick. Flavors of blackberries, cassis and black cherry are very intense but not remotely obvious or over-ripe, and though there’s a lot of bracing from oak, the wood accents definitely overwhelmed by the fruit’s sheer strength. You could enjoy this now with decanting and a grilled steak, but it will be better in another 5 years and undoubtedly can hang on or even improve for a full decade from now. What a wine!
Michael Franz - October 30, 2018
93 Vinous Media Brilliant ruby. Complex, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, incense, mocha and exotic spices, with a bright mineral overtone. Sweet and incisive on the palate, offering sappy, vivacious raspberry and lavender pastille flavors. In a seamless, graceful style, with a pliant, gently tannic finish emphatically echoing the floral quality. Made from fruit grown in a 70+-year-old vineyard, this wine was aged in new French for 17 months. 2020 – 2026.
Central Spain: Tempranillo and Beyond
December 2015
92 Wine & Spirits Magazine For her most ambitious red, Victoria Benavides selects fruit from 70-year-old vines at the Senda del Lobo vineyards, right next to the winery in San Roman de Hornija. This is Toro at its most robust and concentrated, as tense as an animal about to pounce on its prey. Defined by strength and ripeness, as well as the power of its tannins, this is a red that needs a decade in the cellar.
June 2016
92 International Wine Review This is a rich and densely flavored wine sourced from the 70-year old Senda del Lobo vineyard. Fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in oak, it offers fragrant aromas of red and black berry fruit with toasted oak on the nose. On the palate it is soft and elegant revealing dark berry, perfect balance and a lingering finish.
91 The Wine Advocate The 2012 Gran Elias Mora is pure Tempranillo from a single vineyard planted in the 1970s -- a vineyard called Senda del Lobo, which provides very low yields. The wine matured in oak barrels for 17 months, despite which the oak aromas are nicely integrated and folded into the fruit, revealing themselves in the shape of spices and hints of toasted bread. The wine is quite aromatic and expressive, and the palate is medium to full-bodied with some chewy tannins. This is a powerful Toro. 6,000 bottles.
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Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos 2013
94 (IWR) 93 (VM) 93 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
94 International Wine Report The Elias Mora 'Gran' Toro is sourced from the finest vineyards placed at La Cuesta de los Lobos. This inky colored Toro starts off with aromas of toasty oak, crème de cassis, anise, graphite and blackberry pie. The heady aromatics continue to bring you back to the glass for more. Refined, with an intense viscosity and tension, the wine is nearly impossible to put down once in the glass. Dark fruits mingle with lively minerality, and strong chocolate overtones. Seductive, chewy and dense, this slumbering giant still needs some time in the cellar.
June 2018
93 Vinous Media (made from vines that are reportedly over 70 years old and yielded 15 hl/ha; fermented and aged in new French oak barrels for two years) Inky ruby. Powerful aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, incense, vanilla, licorice and violet, backed by a smoky mineral quality. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet blueberry, cherry compote and mocha flavors and subtle hints of spicecake and candied flowers. The floral and blue fruit notes reverberate emphatically on the strikingly long finish, which is framed by smooth tannins.
Spain’s New Releases, Part 2: Triumphs and Travails – May 16, 2017
93 Wine Enthusiast Cedar, charred oak and game are the key aromas in this wine. The palate is huge and tannic, with flavors of blackberry, cassis, baking spices and herbs that finish chocolaty and spicy. While the product of a cool vintage, this is still a saturated beast that could use more time to come around; drink through 2028.
Cellar Selection; May 2018
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Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos 2014
94 (VM) 92 (VfC) 92 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
94 Vinous Media Opaque ruby. Assertively perfumed aromas of cherry preserves, blackberry, incense and potpourri; oak spice and mineral topnotes build in the glass. Alluringly sweet and concentrated, with an undercurrent of smoky minerality lifting dark berry liqueur, bitter chocolate and candied lavender flavors that show fine definition. Supple, slow-building tannins add shape to an extremely long, juicy finish, which echoes the floral and mineral notes. 100% new French oak. 2022 – 2032
Josh Raynolds - February 2021
92 View from the Cellar The 2014 Gran Tinto from Elias Mora is from their oldest parcel of vines, as these tempranillo vines are fully ninety years of age. This vineyard also sits up at elevation, being planted at seven hundred and fifty meters in a stony sand and clay soil foundation. The spends seventeen months in French casks prior to bottling and the 2014 is a full fifteen percent octane. It offers up deep and ripe bouquet of black cherries, dark berries, cigar ash, a good base of soil, spit-roasted meats and smoky oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very nicely balanced, with a bottomless core, excellent focus and grip, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, complex and gently chewy finish. This is really good wine, and only shows a touch of backend heat, which is pretty remarkable for a wine that is fifteen percent alcohol! 2024-2050.
Issue # 85 - January/February 2020
92 Wine Spectator Espresso, licorice and smoky notes frame black cherry, currant and sanguine flavors in this firm red. Shows good density, with enough acidity to stay lively. A sleeping giant. Best from 2021 through 2035. 750 cases made, 125 cases imported. — TM
October 2020
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Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos 2015
95 (OB) 94 (WE) 94 (WRO) 93 (Decanter) 93 (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 This single vineyard bottling comes from 80 year old Tinta de Toro vines. Stored for 17 months in French oak barrels, this shows off an inky color once in the glass. Layers of boysenberry cordial, dark chocolate shavings and mocha all come together seamlessly in the glass. Rich and decadent, yet showing beautiful finesse, this is an astonishingly good bottling that has many years to go. Drink 2022-2037
Owen Bargreen - August 18, 2022
94 Wine Enthusiast Inky violet-red in the glass, this wine carries aromas of dark berry preserves, lavender and black pepper. It is spicy at first sip, offering notes of clove and anisette that are joined by flavors of cherry, strawberry and mocha. Rich tannins abound right through the lingering berry finish.
Mike DeSimone – Editors’ Choice - April 2022
94 Wine Review Online Pardon my French — especially in relation to a Spanish wine — but this is kick-ass juice from a big, ripe vintage, and you will not soon forget it almost regardless of when you taste it, whether that’s now or 20 years from now. The aromas are assertively spicy and toasty, which makes sense given that the wine was aged in 100% new French oak for 17 months. On the palate, the fruit is imposingly concentrated and deep in flavor, and the physical weight of the wine is again quite formidable. In most cases, these characteristics show up in what I call, “Statement Wines,” in which a winemaker or proprietor is trying to impress or “make a statement” rather than craft something beautiful and enjoyable. But in this case, what you get is…precisely something beautiful and enjoyable. Beware that this is a wine that will benefit greatly from time in the cellar, but with that caveat stated, it is so proportional and so skillfully made that you could certainly enjoy it now with some very serious meat or fine aged cheese. I found this hard to score because it is so big but yet so well behaved, rather like a polite bull, and how does one understand a polite bull? But the point is, if my score is off, I made sure it was off on the low side, so buy this with confidence for a special occasion.
Michael Franz – July 20, 2021
93 Decanter Magazine This single-vineyard Tinta de Toro is a benchmark example of the variety’s ageing potential and capacity to preserve freshness and juicy fruit while developing intriguing earthy nuances. Classical yet modern, with ripe black fruit supported by an underlying freshness, prickly liquorice and spicy black pepper. Beautiful herbal lining of wild oregano and balsamico.
Decanter Magazine February 2023
93 View from the Cellar The Gran bottling from Bodega Elias Mora is made entirely from eighty-five year-old, organically-farmed tempranillo vines, from the vineyard of Senda del Lobo, which has a soil foundation of clay and limestone, with plenty of surface stones. The yields here are miniscule, with the 2015 cropped at fifteen hectoliters per hectare. The wine is one hundred percent whole clusters and aged in one hundred percent new French oak for eighteen months prior to bottling. The 2015 Gran delivers a deep bouquet of black cherries, dark berries, cigar wrapper, new leather, a quite refined framing of toasty oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a superb core of fruit, firm, ripe tannins and impressive length and grip on the nascently complex finish. This comes in listed at a full fifteen percent octane, but seems a bit lower than that on the palate, as there is only a wisp of backend heat and the wine is fresh as can be on the nose and palate. This is a big, powerful and chewy wine of admirable balance and it should age long and gracefully- though it will demand a full decade in the cellar to start to soften. 2031-2075.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
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Gran Elias Mora La Senda De Los Lobos 2017
95 (WRO) 92+ (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine Review Online This is a very big and powerful wine in most vintages — certainly in this one as well. Physically quite dense, it counterbalances its oak load very effectively, making the initial impression one of purity and balance. This is a singular characteristic that makes this wine worth its asking price when judged against ultra-premium wines that also ring up for $90 or so. Its window of enjoyability is just phenomenal, and though I think it would be a mistake to open this for another five years, it will likely improve for two decades after that and hold for another decade after that. Holding it for that long will require either a bit of optimism or deep affection for your children or grandchildren, but the wine really does seem up to the challenge. Tasted again 24 hours after opening, it still showed the same need for time in bottle to absorb tannins, so either keep your mitts off this for a good while or buy the 2018 Reserva instead.
Michael Franz - Issue: June 6, 2023
92+ View from the Cellar The 2017 Gran Elías Mora “La Senda Los Lobos” is a single vineyard wine made from organically-farmed, eighty year-old tempranillo vines. The wine sees eighteen months of elevage in French oak barrels prior to bottling and the 2017 version tips the scales at a full fifteen percent alcohol. The wine’s aromatic constellation is deep and old viney, offering up scents of cassis, sweet dark berries, hung game, cigar box, dark soil tones, coffee bean and spicy oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely balanced, with a superb core of black fruit, good soil signature, firm, well-integrated tannins and fine length and grip on the focused and promising finish. This too comes in at fifteen percent octane, but carries its alcohol quite well and does not seem warm on the backend. Good juice in the making here. 2033-2080.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
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